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PM faces tough questions on Kashmir fake encounter

June 08, 2010 12:22 IST

The alleged fake encounter in Machil dominated the meetings Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had with leaders of various political parties in Srinagar late on Monday night, with some of them calling it a 'national shame'.

The prime minister, who held meetings with various political parties till late in the night, was also apprised of the demand for discontinuation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in the state, political leaders said.

The delegation of the ruling National Conference, which was led by its senior leader Chowdhury Mohammed Ramzan, also sought an early resumption of dialogue with the Hurriyat Conference besides a surrender policy on youths who had crossed over to Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and were willing to return.

The Communist Party of India - Marxist delegation, headed by Mohammed Yusuf Tarigami, termed the Machil encounter as a 'national shame' and sought early disposal of the case in order to restore the faith of the people in the law of the land.

This view was echoed by other political parties including the main opposition People's Democratic Party, which had claimed that the incident was a reflection of the deteriorating law and order situation in the valley.

Tarigami said he told the prime minister during his meeting that the "Machil encounter had negated the political gains made after the 2008 elections".

"The prime minister agreed to the view that human rights abuse should be dealt with sternly," Tarigami told PTI.

The Kashmir valley was rocked by protests after allegations of a fake encounter in Machil area along the Line of Control, where three civilians were killed allegedly by the Army. A jawan was arrested by the police while the Army suspended a major and relieved a colonel from command duty in connection with the case. Tarigami also sought a package for farmers of the state who had lost their crops because of untimely rain and hail storm.

"The prime minister has assured me that he will be sending a central team to assess the damage," he said.

The Awami National Conference team led by Muzzafar Shah favoured an intra-Kashmir dialogue and conveyed to the prime minister that it wanted to send a 15-member delegation to PoK in an effort to bridge the gap between the two sides of Kashmir.

"The prime minister was in agreement with our proposal and assured us all kind of help," said Shah.

The Opposition PDP claimed that the constant abuse of human rights in the valley had almost nullified the gains of the peace initiative in the state, when their party, along with the Congress, was at the helm of affairs.

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